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Weekly IRS Roundup May 25 – May 29, 2020

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of May 25 – May 29, 2020. Additionally, for continuing updates on the tax impact of COVID-19, please visit our resource page here. May 26, 2020: The IRS and United States Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations to provide guidance on federal income tax withholding on certain periodic retirement and annuity payments under IRC § 3405(a). May 26, 2020: The IRS and Treasury issued final regulations clarifying the reporting requirements under IRC § 6033, generally applicable to tax-exempt organizations. May 26, 2020: The IRS Practice Unit titled Taxation on the Disposition of USRPI by Foreign Persons was updated to clarify that publicly traded stock of a corporation continues to not be US real property interests (USRPI) if held by a 5% or less shareholder. The 5% threshold was increased to 10% only for real estate investment...

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Court Rules That Wind Farm Did Not Provide Proof of Development Fee to Receive 1603 Cash Grant

On June 20, 2019, the United States Court of Federal Claims published its long-awaited opinion in California Ridge Wind Energy, LLC v. United States, No. 14-250 C. The opinion addressed how taxpayers engaging in related party transactions may appropriately determine the cost basis with respect to a wind energy project under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Central to the case was whether the taxpayer was allowed to include a $50 million development fee paid by a project entity to a related developer in the cost basis of a wind project for purposes of calculating the cash grant under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (Section 1603). Section 1603 allowed taxpayers to take a cash grant in lieu of the production tax credit of up to 30% of the eligible cost basis of a wind project. The eligible cost basis under Section 1603 is determined in the same manner as under Section 45 for purposes of the investment tax credit (ITC). The...

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Analysis of Energy and Tax Proposals in the 2018 Budget Proposal

President Trump released his budget proposal for the 2018 FY on May 23, 2017, expanding on the budget blueprint he released in March. The budget proposal and blueprint reiterate the President’s tax reform proposals to lower the business tax rate and to eliminate special interest tax breaks. They also provide for significant changes in energy policy including: restarting the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, reinstating collection of the Nuclear Waste Fund fee and eliminating DOE research and development programs. Read the full article.

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Inversions and Debt/Equity Regulations Top Treasury’s 2016–2017 Priority Guidance Plan

Yesterday, the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released the 2016–2017 Priority Guidance Plan (Plan) containing 281 projects that are priorities for Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the period July 2016 through June 2017. The Plan contains several categories of topics, starting with consolidated returns and ending with tax-exempt bonds. The Plan also contains an appendix that lists more routine guidance that is generally published each year. Treasury and the IRS will update and republish the plan during the next 12 months to reflect additional items that have become priorities and guidance that has been published during the year. The public is invited to continue to provide comments and suggestions as guidance is written throughout the year. Notable items include Final regulations regarding inversions and related transactions (temporary and proposed regulations were published on April 8, 2016) Final regulations under Internal...

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Investment Tax Credit Lessee Income Inclusion Guidance Issued

New Internal Revenue Service temporary regulations provide guidance on the income inclusion rules that apply when a lessor elects to treat a lessee as having acquired investment credit property under Treas. Reg. § 1.48-4. As expected, the new temporary regulations also provide that a partner of a lessee partnership cannot increase its basis in its partnership interest for this income inclusion. Read the full article.

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IRS Revises Recent Begin Construction Guidance

On May 18, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revised Notice 2016-31 (Notice), its recent guidance on meeting the beginning of construction requirements for wind and other qualified facilities (including biomass, geothermal, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic facilities). For a discussion of the Notice, click here. The revisions clarify that the Continuity Safe Harbor is satisfied if a taxpayer places a facility into service by the later of (1) the calendar year that is no more than four calendar years after the calendar year during which construction of the facility began, or (2) December 31, 2016. The revisions also include additional language that the Notice applies to any project for which a taxpayer claims the Section 45 production tax credit (PTC) or the Section 48 investment tax credit (ITC) that is placed in service after January 2, 2013. The revised Notice also corrects mathematical errors in an example illustrating...

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IRS Issues Guidance on the Beginning of Construction Rules for Renewable Projects

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2016-31, which provides much-needed guidance for wind and other qualified facilities on meeting the beginning of construction requirements in light of the 2015 statutory extension and modification of the production tax credit and the investment tax credit. The Notice also revises and adds to the list of excusable disruptions that will not be taken into account when determining whether the continuity requirement has been met, and provides additional examples demonstrating “physical work of a significant nature” for different types of qualified facilities. Read the full article.

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